This flies in the face of the exhortations that inundated me as a baalat teshuvah, where very well-meaning people (including rabbis, rebbetzins, and hosts/hostesses) insisted that one needs to consult with a rav about everything. It was like something terrible would happen if I'd make a move without consulting a rav. And the English frum press is full of stories of people who were floundering until they consulted a rabbi and -- TA-DAAAH! -- they saw the light and everything become rosy and sunny.
Later, I discovered that consulting a rabbi for non-halachic advice is like tossing a coin: Sometimes he's right, sometimes he's wrong. Or he's kind of right but either his reasoning is wrong OR his persona of sarcasm or irritability or condescension makes it hard to swallow whatever benefit may be contained in his words.
(I'm obviously not talking about real tzaddikim, but run-of-the-mill rabbis.)
The success stories are true, but the people who benefited from a rav's advice benefited from a certain amount of luck, good chemistry with the rav, thick skin, and maybe they consulted a true expert in that particular field.)
Anyway, to my surprise, this idea of not consulting another human being for advice is actually an intrinsic part of Breslov philosophy.
This is even more intriguing given that we are talking about Chassidus, which places a huge emphasis on the relationship between a chassid and his Rebbe, with chassidim encouraged to turn to their Rebbe for advice and guidance.
Yet Rav Bender offers many examples of Breslov opposition to the dispensing of advice, even among the Breslov giants like Rebbe Nachman himself and Rebbe Nachman’s prime disciple and transmitter, Rebbe Nosson.
Yes, such wise and qualified tzaddikim like them rarely gave direct advice, even when their closest disciples or even their own children begged for direct advice.
Why? They resisted because they did not want to remove the asker’s bechirah (free will).
I’m writing this post to give myself chizuk too. Despite all the benefits and pleasures (usually, but not always) of talking to God, I often face the yetzer hara of “Well, I don’t really feel like it right now…” (Or any number of other excuses.)
Objectively speaking, that’s so bizarre. Talking to Hashem has proven so helpful. I've seen changes in my life that common wisdom insists that only profuse therapy and special programs can effect.
And sometimes, I've ended a hitbodedut session feeling high -- literally.
So why don’t I yearn to do it all the time?
I was recently reminded in Garden of Emuna that there is a yetzer hara against hitbodedut. Rav Shalom Arush (who himself has at times engaged in 6-8 hours of hitbodedut on a daily basis) states that even a high-level person who regularly does copious hitbodedut can still struggle with an inner resistance against talking to God.
That’s the yetzer hara for you.
So I'm really into turning to Hashem for everything and showing Him gratitude, and I've personally done it a lot and reaped a lot of benefit from this...and I still struggle with making the time to do it! Or sometimes I want to talk to another person (instead of Hashem) about an issue, but then Hashem makes that go wonky and I end up regretting it.
So the benefit is so clear...yet I still struggle with this resistance!
And that's normal.
The main thing is to keep trying.